crack of dawn

the crack of dawn

The moment at which the sun first rises. It's a long drive, so we'll have to leave at the crack of dawn if we want to get there on time. I've been up since the crack of dawn repairing the fences that blew down in the storm.
See also: crack, dawn, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

crack of dawn

Very early morning, daybreak. For example, I got up at the crack of dawn. The crack in this term alludes either to the suddenness of sunrise or to the small wedge of light appearing as the sun rises over the horizon. Originally the term was usually put as crack of day. [Late 1800s]
See also: crack, dawn, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

crack of dawn, (at) the

Early in the morning. The origin of this expression is uncertain. One writer suggests that “crack” is derived from the ancient meaning of a sudden loud noise (since the word comes from Old English cracian, “to resound”), because the sun comes up suddenly. Rudyard Kipling used similar imagery in his poem “Mandalay,” where “the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ’crost the Bay.” On the other hand, “crack” may refer to a small space or opening—that is, the wedge of light that appears as the sun rises over the horizon. Whichever, the phrase originated in America in the late nineteenth century. It may already have been a cliché when W. Somerset Maugham wrote (Catalina, 1948), “He had slipped away at the crack of dawn.”
See also: crack, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Rising at the crack of dawn in the depths of winter struggling with arthritis, then out to do an eight-hour shift is not what most old folk would prescribe as a tonic to boost their health.
class="MsoNormalAt the crack of dawn Thursday, it took its rubble venture to leafy the Gigiri suburb, the diplomatic capital of the city.
Nobody likes to be woken up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, particularly by the sound of bagpipes of all things.
According to him, some locals came to know about the accident at the crack of dawn, following which police found three bodies from the riverbank but not the jeep, as it had been swept away by the river.
The GMB co-host shovels the morning meals in because he is so hungry after waking up at the crack of dawn to start work.
Marine might have been underdogs, the coaches may have had to leave at the crack of dawn for the 3pm kick-off, and it might have been just a fortnight after Christmas, but more than 150 intrepid supporters made the long journey south.
THE worker is up at the crack of dawn, Optimistic from the day he was born.
But he has a habit of waking us up at the crack of dawn and demands his breakfast.
A HUSBAND and wife are looking forward to getting their lives back after almost 30 years of getting up at the crack of dawn to serve the community.
A PIC journalist said hordes of Israeli settlers flocked to the town at the crack of dawn and performed rituals at Islamic shrines.
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CAROL Kirkwood isn't just one of our favourite weather presenters, she also looks fab despite getting up at the crack of dawn for BBC Breakfast.
According to local sources, four Palestinian civilians were rushed to the Khalil Suleiman public hospital in Jenin to be urgently treated for the wounds and bruises they sustained after they were heavily beaten by the Israeli troops at the crack of dawn, PIC reported.
The beleaguered staff can now be seen driving 'round the block' as many as 10 times looking for a space if they show up any later than the crack of dawn. Not only that, but they must navigate cars flying round corners with little care and vehicles driving speedily the wrong way down a one-way street (such a concept must not exist across the Causeway).
The challenge starts at the crack of dawn, beginning with mountain biking in the Grizedale Forest before taking to the water for a three-mile kayak on Lake Coniston.